Under-pressure paramedics – keeping Weston A&E closed at night is ‘madness’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 December 2017

A Weston paramedic has said it is 'madness' to not use the hospital A&E.

A Weston paramedic has said it is 'madness' to not use the hospital A&E.

Archant

Paramedics have apologised for ‘failing’ the public as they ‘struggle to maintain a crumbling service’, with one Weston-super-Mare ambulance worker saying the town’s A&E must open to reduce the stress on its ‘overstretched’ service.

Weston General Hospital and A & E Department.Weston General Hospital and A & E Department.

South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) paramedics apologised in an open letter for leaving patients on the floor or in hospital corridors for hours and say the situation is potentially putting people’s lives at risk.

Weston General Hospital’s A&E closed overnight on July 4, with bosses citing its struggle to recruit senior doctors as one of the main reasons.

But one paramedic told the Mercury it is ‘madness’ to not use the A&E each night, adding it was ‘tiring’ and ‘frustrating’ for ambulance workers and patients to travel to hospitals in Bristol and Taunton.

He added: “Weston A&E needs to be reopened, fully staffed and fully resourced 24/7 in order for ambulance services to not be so stretched in the area.

“It is madness, anyone who knows emergency medicine knows timing is critical and if you have a fantastic resource like Weston and do not use it you are culpable in the harm of some people.”

Hospital chiefs have previously said the A&E closure is not harming patients and is running smoothly.

SWASFT chief executive Ken Wenman said he recognises the pressure the service is under and is ‘working hard’ to improve the situation.

Weston MP John Penrose told the Mercury that fully reopening A&E will ‘reduce the pressure’ on the ambulance service.

Medics said in a letter published by the union GMB: “We are struggling to maintain a crumbling service. We are sorry for the patients and family members who have been left on the floor for hours as consequence of not getting to you on time.

“We are sorry when you remain in the ambulance or in the hospital corridor for hours when we are stacked at A&Es because we cannot complete our handover.”

The Weston paramedic, who wanted to remain anonymous, said 12-hour shifts, which sometimes over-run by three or four hours, had a ‘detrimental effect’ on the mental and physical health of his colleagues.

He added: “It is difficult enough switching to critical care mode in a minute but we cannot provide the best care possible when we are exhausted.”

More from Weston Mercury

25 minutes ago

Work has begun on a new £9million Locking Parklands primary school after years of delays.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

American nu metal band P.O.D. will perform at the O2 Academy Bristol early next year.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

A Weston body builder with stage two cancer raised £1,000 for charity by climbing Mount Snowdon.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:18

A woman has died today (Wednesday) after she was hit by a van.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:13

It’s that time of year again – oh yes it is! – when flamboyant costumes, dazzling sets and cheesy comedy are the order of the day so, getting into the festive spirit last night (Tuesday), I ventured forth with my 10-year-old son into panto-land at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:58

Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit to celebrate businesses and producers in Worle.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:57

Weston Athletic Club’s annual Christmas Cracker race took place on Weston beach with more than 2,000 runners taking part.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:31

Weston Athletic Club runners took part in the Full Monty Cute, a hilly 10-mile course in South Somerset.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:13

Trophies were presented to Weston Golf Club ladies at their annual dinner.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Weston’s Grand Pier donated a six-foot Christmas tree to an adventure park to raise money for charity.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: -2°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists